Dad's Do Win in Custody Court!


#1

I forgot to mention…

Prayer and steadfastness was the key. I don’t think none of this would hav been possible without God’s guidance, blessing, and favor over our lives. The bottom line is you have to have Christ in your life to even know how to be a parent (biological, step, or otherwise).

WizDUMBspeaques


#2

now that DAD need to help other dads, and explain his case and what he did to WIN. Father rights of NC.

quote:
[i]Originally posted by akduncan13[/i] [br]Greetings All,

I’ve only posted a few times on this forum, but I’ve read 100s of posts. I posted a while back about “Dads winning Custody”. Well, my husband and I had our custody hearing about 2 weeks ago for his now 3 year old son. Guess what? WE WON!!! My husband got what he desired and that was Primary physical custody of his son. During the ruling, the Judge put a lot of the decision-making in my husbands hands. I would go into the details of the case, but it would be much too long for this forum!!! LOL [:D]

So thanks to everyone’s replies to my original post and thanks for all the info and insight that I’ve gotten from this forum. It’s been a wealth of information. His son can now have a fighting chance at life and not end up another Black male statistic. That excites and ignites the both of us!

There is hope for fathers out there…

WizDUMBspeaques



#3

I am glad to hear that what is best for your stepson has been done. Keeping you in thoughts now that the easy part is over [;)]


#4

My husband and I discussed doing something in order to help our other fathers out there who really want some time and custody with their kids…confirmation!!!

  1. I think the thing that really helped our case was that we kept acurate records of EVERYTHING!!! Any phone call that was made, voicemail left. We set up a Wachovia Buxx card so the mom could have access to funds - this actually ended up working in several ways for our favor 1. it showed that he was consistent with his voluntary child support and 2. it showed what the “child support” money was actually spent on (needless to say that gym memberships, hair, nails are not needs of a 3 yearold man-child).

  2. WE HAD AN EXCELLENT ATTORNEY!!! I think this is so crucial. When atty shopping you definitely want to research your attys reputation and community involvement. As much as it isn’t fair, the judicial system is extremely political (eventhough the election races are supposed to be non-partisian, they really are not). Just like with many things in life, it’s not what you know, but who you know…the rubbing of elbows and brown nosing are, in a sense, necessary - as long as it’s moral and ethical of course. Essentially attys get to “judge” shop when selecting the judge who will rule on your case. So having not only a competent atty, but also one that is well-respected by their peers and the judge community. They need to have a good rapport with the court community. You don’t have to spend tons of $$$ on a good atty. Our atty’s prices were in the median price range of those we shopped around. The worst thing you could have is an atty who is not only incompetent, but who is not respected or knows nothing about the local court system that your case is being heard. Pick an atty that handles many cases in that particular county/district.

I’ll say this, all beit tenderly…if you are a male going for custody, I would recommend hiring a female atty. I hate to say it, but from our research many of these types of cases that win have female attys. But not someone who is overly aggressive either. A woman attempting custody is fine either way with a male or female atty. (please don’t chop my head off for this comment, it’s just my opinion)

  1. Take pictures and video (if you are able) of you with your child. Show things like extracuricular activities, home life, church life, special moments, you reading a book to them. If there are other children in your family or a wife/fiance be sure to get pics/vid of that as well. You want to emphasize a “family” atmosphere. With the help of one of my co-workers, he took all of the pics and video and made it into one DVD with background music and all!!! Although we couldn’t play any of the music, the DVD worked wonders on the court room. The Judge loved it!!! Our atty kept ours to use as a sample for her clients (current and up and coming) because it was such a hit. I think you could probably make a dvd using Microsoft video or something like that. We didn’t purchase a camcorder, we just used hte video option on our digital camera. It only records 2-3 minutes, but it’s plenty because you can just clip the videos for the footage that you need. Just be sure you have enough time b/t the frames to be able to explain each picture, because the judge will ask about the content of each one.

I will say one thing about having a significant other in the picture. Some attys don’t like the idea, others are open to it. We had the opportunity to take a “children of divorce” class and there was a local judge who was one of the facilitators. The question was asked about sig others and she said that many judges in our district don’t mind (not all of course). The issue arises with their involvement and background. So know who you are dating or married to. If they have mental issues, take anti-depress meds, bad morals and ethics, then it’s going to hurt your case. Also one caution is if the sig other is “overly involved” that can pose a problem. If you are like me, then you are involved as if the child is yours, but in the eyes of the court that can look overbearing or too envolved or over steping boundaries or like you are trying to take over or something. So for our case, we had to play down somethings so it wouldn’t come across the wrong way to the court. We made sure that we emphasized my role in this child’s life and as the wife without giving them too much rope to hang us on. That part is a delicate balance.

Just make sure your sig other is in support of you and it’s painstakingly obvious. If there is a “children of divorce” type class or any other mandated class for you to take have them take it with you too. It just shows that they are committed to this process and the child’s best interest.

  1. One of the biggest things is to be honest and know that it’s ok to show your “soft side”. YOU HAVE TO SHOW THAT YOU CARE AND LOVE YOUR CHILD!!! this is especially difficult for fathers because they tend not to show their emotions often. The pics/vid help with this alot, however your testimony in discribing your relationship with your child is also important.

  2. As obvious as this may sound DRESS THE PART. Wear a suit and tie to court, not jeans or even khakis. If you can’t afford a suit try goodwill or thrift store for one and take it to the dry cleaners to get it cleaned. It’s worth looking your best…shave, get a hair cut, look nice…look like you mean business and your are serious about the proceeding and your child. The opposing party in our case wore jeans and a t-shirt on the 2nd day of trial (the trial only lasted 2 days!)

  3. don’t bring an entourage of ppl with you to court. this is not the oj simpson case. Bring your wife/sig other, parents, or close family friend. Other than that it’s not necessary. Judges get annoyed at it b/c it looks like a “circus” or a parade or a tv show or something. Our judge had to tell the opposing party not to bring her friends back to court the next day because of it.

  4. last but not least PRAY!!! PRAY!!! PRAY!!! it’s the only way we made it. Our relationship with Christ is the only reason we ended up with the right atty, judge, and evidence for our case. You have to have Christ in your life in order to obtain success. I personally fasted (modified fast) and prayed 25 days out from our custody trial. I stood on the scripture…And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers…(Malachi 4:6). It’s the scripture we know rejoice over and thank God for his word and the victory!!!

  5. b/c we believed in God, we chose not to mudsling and get “dirty” with this case. Our atty is the same way. We just walked in love and humility and asked God to grant us favor and place this young lad into our lives so we could give him a fighting chance to beat the odds of his current environment. However, you have to do the hard work to make the case stick and God will guide you in that.

A few things that were unique to our case were

  1. my husband and I have protective orders against her because she is a very, very violent and emotionally unstable person. So we had to do something to protect ourselves.

  2. she had a conviction for a criminal charge and it on probation, as a result of us obtaining our 50b and 50c.

  3. she was convicted of food stamp fraud and facing a felony charge for daycare fraud.

  4. her testimony lasted about 20-30 minutes, my husband was on the stan for all of the 1st day and about 1/2 of the second day of trial. her atty worked her case pro bono (nothing wrong with that, I wish we could have so we didn’t have to cough up the $$$), but the only time he met with her was about 30 minutes prior to the trial beginning. he really did her a disservice in that respect.

  5. she ended up admitting to bad and malicious acts against us and for the sake of being vindictive. the judge asked her questions straight out using their tactics and she answered without even realized that he was trying to get to the truth

  6. our atty was EXCELLENT!!! she has a great rapport with other judges and selected the best judge for our case.

  7. our judge was a male judge who has 3 young sons of his own, so we pulled on his heart strings a little bit :slight_smile:

I hope this helps and if we can be of assistance to any of you, please let us know!

Sorry So LONG… :slight_smile:

WizDUMBspeaques


#5

Stepmom LOL @ the “easy part”

WizDUMBspeaques


#6

Wow, Akduncan, thanks for posting what you did. I am also the SO of someone who is trying to gain custody of their child, (only it’s not just him, but his ex-wife, and they’re trying to gain custody from his mother). You had some really good advice. Congratulations for getting your husband’s son back, you sound like a really wonderful stepmom!


#7

Greetings All,

I’ve only posted a few times on this forum, but I’ve read 100s of posts. I posted a while back about “Dads winning Custody”. Well, my husband and I had our custody hearing about 2 weeks ago for his now 3 year old son. Guess what? WE WON!!! My husband got what he desired and that was Primary physical custody of his son. During the ruling, the Judge put a lot of the decision-making in my husbands hands. I would go into the details of the case, but it would be much too long for this forum!!! LOL [:D]

So thanks to everyone’s replies to my original post and thanks for all the info and insight that I’ve gotten from this forum. It’s been a wealth of information. His son can now have a fighting chance at life and not end up another Black male statistic. That excites and ignites the both of us!

There is hope for fathers out there…

WizDUMBspeaques


#8

Wow, what a great story…Glad to read some good advice…my husband and I hope to one day get custody of his son…now 12 years old. He is in a bad environment with previous history of domestic violence. Which we know fights still go on but are not documented with police. He has for the last 2 years been struggling in school to pass…his have a severly autisic brother that required alot of the adult attention in his home with his mother and stepfather and we think he don’t get the parenting attention to make sure he has done homework etc…he missed more days in school that he should - so far he has missed 11 days of 20 he can missed. So far these have been classed as excused but some have been of not feeling good and mom would not make him go to school. He has stuggled with his grades in reading and Math and it is to the point now he may fail due to this been his end of grade testing subjects. His school offers some afterschool program in which we have informed mother about but not sure she will put him in the program…we only can assist him on our weekends at our home. The mother is very hard to communicate with and we have already had to take her back to court for show cause violation of the order…so we think she is resentful about us doing that but she gives us no choice in the matter and continueously give us something to use against her if we take her back to court. I document all calls that we try to place to him but we do not get calls back and when we haven’t been able to get up with him…I document anything that happens as far as he is concern and have my record of what he has told us etc…which from looking back would be a big help in the future…we pray about it and hope that some day everything will work out…the child would love to live with us because we can offer a more stable home that he is in right now but we don’t have the money to get a lawyer to fight for custody again… We have been to court twice now and I doubt it will be our last with the ex. She is always giving us something to use against her. You would think after a show cause order and having to pay our attorney fees- she would think twice but I don’t think she realizes it and just wants to control everything. Thanks for telling your story about dads winning custody. I hope that one day we can.


#9

Well have a great update— my busband and I went back to court yesterday and he won primary joint legal custody of his son. All went good…our biggest help was that he wanted to come live with us and that is what he told the judge. He will be 13. Him telling the judge that he wanted to live with his dad . He stated that his mom pressured him alot the day before court about what to say but he had made up his mind that this was his opportunity to do it and no one was standing in his way even though his mom tried to convince him other wise. Our biggest help was schooling problems. He was missing a lot of days and failing some of his subjects and was not getting any better. Also, lots of praying…but he started school here locally today and everything is going great so far.


#10

I think it does matter what the kid actually wants too. That from my research seems to be a factor.


#11

Just wanted to give a little more encouragement to all the Dads out there. All men, of course, but a little extra to minority men. My DH is a naturalized US citizen from a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean country, who gained custody of his children. He was up against the mother, his ex, a white woman from a good family. I want to elaborate on the tips from akduncan13, and share what we did in our case.

To begin with, DH and his ex had a 50/50 agreement. She was awarded child support in an excessive amount, because she grossly inflated DH’s income and DH’s first attorney did not object.

  1. We kept records of most everything. Not phone calls, but overnights, when she would drop the kids and run out of state or party. The fact that she stopped taking kids to the doctors, and DH had to get the kids caught up on immunizations (she was the SAHM, he was the one who worked… so he was unaware for a few years that she didn’t have them up to date). School, teachers meetings, etc. The school agenda was great for showing homework was not being done on her time. Also, we kept records of her outings, things she did for herself (easy to do because she was very visible online), while neglecting the kids. Emails, text message, GOOGLE VOICE IS AWESOME and FREE.

Ex’s new husband tried to use a voice recording (after provoking us) in court, and it messed them up.

  1. DH went with a female attorney and ended up getting screwed in the beginning. She was so horrible that the firm refunded DH his retainer. DH found a decent male attorney (no background check, went with him out of desperation honestly) willing to take his case. DH and I did most of the legwork, DHAtty came up with the courtroom strategies.

  2. DH didn’t overdo it with the pictures. He showed pics of the kids, pics of the house, rooms in the house, but didn’t over do it. His ex had tons of pictures, a good part of them staged (kids with Chick fil A cups in the forefront, standing in front of a mall sign, etc). DH’s pics of the kids were mostly at home, playing in their environment, in the snow, normal and natural.

  3. DH did not get emotional until the ruling. He stayed ‘matter of fact’ as much as possible, except for the times when the judge had to shut him up a couple of times for showing frustration of the situation on the stand.

  4. DH dressed nice, but didn’t do a suit and tie.

  5. DH’s ex brought a lot of people. DH brought me and another witness.

  6. While we are not Christian, it is helpful to pray, have good thoughts, something to focus on to keep your mind straight. Good vibes, prayer, never hurt anyone!

  7. We didn’t have to mudsling. DH and his attorney stated the facts, supported by evidence. If there was not evidence, it was not brought to the judge’s attention. However, if you have evidence or a credible witness, then by all means, tell the court how the other parent drugs the kids so she can party, or how she sleeps around with many people in the living room when the kids are in bed, or how she chooses to go out of state on a personal vacation rather than pay the gas bill! It’s not mudslinging. It’s looking out for your child.

In DH’s case, the mother didn’t want to take the kids to get updated on immunizations, but she refused to give DH the medicaid cards.
The kids would kick, scream, hide in cabinets, and cry and cry and cry when it was time to go to mamas… and we even had it recorded. But we didn’t use it in court. I don’t know why. We did say, and it was included in the Findings of Fact (so we did have supporting evidence somewhere) that the kids did not want to go to their mothers.
The mother rescheduled a surgery for her 4 year old son because an internet outing came up. Lucky for us, her pics were up on this website from the meeting for that date.

It DID help that the mother buried herself. She never said adamantly that she wanted the kids. When the judge asked what she wanted, she said “Umm, I guess if someone HAD to have custody, I’d want it to be me I guess, but I really want 50/50.” Judge saw through it, after seeing all the evidence presented, she knew the mother wanted her child support and her free time too.

In the beginning, the mother tried to use DH’s country of birth, religion, and whatever she could against him. She said he was controlling and abusive. Nothing could be further from the truth. As long as you state the facts, do not get overly defensive, do not be intimidated by accusations. Judges see it every day.


#12

Greetings -

I came across your post and was encouraged by all you had to say. I, too, am a father involved in a bitter custody dispute with my wife, regarding our 19-month-old son. Ever since he was 3 months old, I’ve spent 10 hours a day, 5 days a week caring for him, and he’s thrived under my care. Now, because my wife wants to move on to another man, she’s trying to take custody of my son away from me.

At this point, I’d just like to know: who was the attorney that represented your husband for his case? If you’d prefer to respond to me privately, I’ll gladly provide you with my email address.

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


#13

can I ask who your lawyer was and if not can you send me your email so I can ask you something?

Thanks